Derry vigil for Ukraine tonight

A candle-lit vigil will be held at Guildhall Square in Derry at 7pm this evening, Wednesday, to remember the people of Ukraine.

By Brendan McDaid
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 5:56 pm

Prayers are expected to be said at the gathering, which has been organised by a group of local people who have invited everyone to attend.

The local women said they wanted to bring the whole community together to stand in solidarity and to pray for the people caught up in the deepening humanitarian crisis.

A spokesperson stressed they didn’t belong to any political group and were just deeply concerned at what was unfolding.

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ZAHONY, HUNGARY - MARCH 02: Refugee Kyryl (surname withheld) aged 9, from Kyiv arrives with his pet dog Hugo at the Hungarian border town of Zahony on a train that has come from Ukraine on March 02, 2022 in Zahony, Hungary. Refugees from Ukraine have fled into neighbouring countries such as Hungary, forming long queues at border crossings, after Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

She said: “I’m sure many of you will agree that what is happening in the world at present is truly heartbreaking. Many hearts are sore, families torn apart and the people of Ukraine are suffering so much. We want to unite in prayer, praying for peace and safety for all involved.”

People are being asked to bring a candle along to the event but not to bring balloons of any description due to the environmental impact.

As hundreds of thousands continue to try to cross border points with Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, Derry & Strabane Council has written to Ukrainian embassy officials offering its assistance for refugees fleeing Ukraine.

The move follows a proposal by Alliance Colr. Philip McKinney, which was endorsed by all other elected representatives at a meeting last week.

KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 28: A patient rests in the bomb shelter of the Oncology ward at Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. As Russiaâ€TMs large-scale invasion of Ukraine entered its fifth day, the capital was quieter overnight but Russian forces continued to mass outside the city. Ukrainian forces waged battle to hold other major cities. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Council will now write to the Ukrainian Ambassador in Dublin and the local Consulate of Ukraine to offer its support for any refugees wishing to settle on these islands.

Colr. McKinney said: “We all know what has happened in Ukraine and this will lead to a massive exodus of Ukrainians seeking refuge in other parts of Europe.”

Donation collection points meanwhile are continuing to gather donations ahead of a convoy heading for the border regions of Eastern Europe later this week.

Fighters of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces, the military reserve of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, stand guard on the position at Independence Square in Kyiv on March 2, 2022. - The fate of the EU is at stake in Ukraine, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who calls for integration "without delay" of his country to the EU, asked Europeans to "prove that they are with Ukraine. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)